Inhibition of JAK-STAT signaling stimulates adult satellite cell function.


Diminished regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle occurs during adulthood. We identified a reduction in the intrinsic capacity of mouse adult satellite cells to contribute to muscle regeneration and repopulation of the niche. Gene expression analysis identified higher expression of JAK-STAT signaling targets in 3-week [corrected] 18-month-old mice [corrected]. Knockdown of Jak2 or Stat3 significantly stimulated symmetric satellite stem cell divisions on cultured myofibers. Genetic knockdown of Jak2 or Stat3 expression in prospectively isolated satellite cells markedly enhanced their ability to repopulate the satellite cell niche after transplantation into regenerating tibialis anterior muscle. Pharmacological inhibition of Jak2 and Stat3 activity similarly stimulated symmetric expansion of satellite cells in vitro and their engraftment in vivo. Intramuscular injection of these drugs resulted in a marked enhancement of muscle repair and force generation after cardiotoxin injury. Together these results reveal age-related intrinsic properties that functionally distinguish satellite cells and suggest a promising therapeutic avenue for the treatment of muscle-wasting diseases.

Nature Medicine. 2014 Oct;20(10):1174-8